UPS expands bike delivery services

By Dan Wilson November 12, 2017 - 9:02 pm

Delivery firm UPS is increasingly using bikes for delivery in the USA with more of the specialist vehicles being introduced into service in Pittsburgh.

Barb Jaram of UPS says: “Working with cities like Pittsburgh to provide them with a delivery solution that helps reduce congestion and emissions and improve air and noise quality is the latest example of how to meet the needs of today’s cities. We have many vehicle options when it comes to reducing our impact on the environment including our cycle solutions that provide greater mobility and fewer emissions.”

They call it an ‘eBike’ and it is equipped with battery-powered electric motors that makes it possible to cover much longer distances than usual velocipedes. They can also carry bigger loads and make it up hills and tackle other terrain more effectively to make deliveries.


Maximum energy efficiency is achieved when combining the built-in battery power and human power simultaneously although the bike can also be used with either method.

In Europe UPS has already embraced ‘green’ services including bike and foot deliveries in a number of locations including Frankfurt, Offenbach, Hamburg, Munich, Oldenburg and Herne in Germany. And also Leuven and Mechelenin Belgium; Rome and Verona, Italy; Toulouse in France. And the Irish capital Dublin.

There is an amusing aspect of adopting bikes for delivery that feels like an innovation that just reflects the delivery of yesteryear. But with increasing traffic congestion in urban centres, bikes can often make journeys much more quickly than bigger, cumbersome vehicles. The popularity of Deliveroo deliveries on push bikes is testament to that.

But where UPS appear to be winning here is with the hybrid, specialist bicycles that can be used to deliver a greater number of parcels and also combine pedal power with batteries.

With same-day, predictable delivery slots becoming increasingly popular with shoppers, it could be that the good old bicycle offers the best option to weave through the city streets.

  • Aleks
    11 months ago

    That’s 100% marketing! They are practically saying we have found some idiots here willing to deliver with human power, which we don’t pay for! Therefore our profits will be higher!

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